Export & Import

Exporting for Deployment with DesktopServer 3.5.0

DesktopServer Premium edition has new export functionality for greater compatibility when deploying your WordPress creations to a live host. This document will show you how to use the new features with the original deployment methods to deploy your sites successfully on a wider range of hosting providers and with greater success when migrating proprietary theme and plugin settings. I’ll start by summarizing the new steps we’ll need to perform followed by a detailed step by step description below:

  1. Ensure your target compatible host server has a working WordPress installation (to be overwritten).
  2. Install the “DesktopServer for WordPress” plugin on your target live host’s WordPress instance.
  3. Export your localhost development website to a compatible .zip archive for deployment.

WordPress on Your Target Server

To get started deploying to your live hosting provider, you should first ensure that you have a working version of WordPress installed on your target server. Any version greater or equal to WordPress version 2.8 will do. This will validate your host as being WordPress compatible and make it easier to gather the required information for a successful deployment package that is compatible with your host server. The WordPress installation can be from a prior loaded website (to be overwritten with your new deployment) or an empty default installation. Most WordPress compatible hosting providers have an automated “WordPress install” feature on their control panels (should you not have WordPress already installed). For instance, QuickInstallFantasticoSimpleScripts, or Site Software just to name a few. Alternatively, many hosts provide free installation of WordPress (contact your hosting provider for details). Please ensure that you have WordPress pre-installed at the destination you wish when users type the domain name to visit your site.

Install the “DesktopServer for WordPress” Plugin

Gathering your target server’s details is automated by installing the “DesktopServer for WordPress” plugin.  Mountain Lion users may need to re-zip the folder as OS X is known to automatically unzip on download by default. Next, login to your live server’s WordPress installation and visit the admin section menu; click Plugins -> Add New -> In the Search Plugins field type “DesktopServer for WordPress”, Click “Install Now” button, “OK”  and then “Activate Plugin”

Export Your Development Website for Deployment

Lastly, use DesktopServer’s export feature to prepare your development website archive for use on your live host’s server. Start by selecting the “Export, import or share a website” option and click next, followed by the “Export a WordPress website archive” option. On the next screen, select your development website from the drop down combo box and then type the domain name of the live server where you want to deploy to in the “Export As” text box. The “Export As” text box value should be equal to the domain name your visitors can type to visit your site in step one (and where your pre-existing WordPress installation resides). The next screen will present you with a number of fields for filling in information that is specific to your hosting provider. It is important that you fill out this information correctly. To make things easier, the prior steps one and two (above) will allow you to use the “Fetch live hosting server details” checkbox. Click the checkbox and this feature will attempt to contact the live host where you have WordPress pre-installed with the “DesktopServer for WordPress plugin” activated. You will be prompted for the administrator password of your WordPress website (see screenshot). The credentials are your administrator username and password you use to login to WordPress on the target live host server. DesktopServer will retrieve your hosting provider details and automatically fill in the fields for you. Click next and you can select an output folder for your zip file and/or click next one last time to have DesktopServer produce the zip file. You can use this zip file to deploy to your live host using one of the compatible methods below:

Using DesktopServer’s new export options will allow you to create more viable exports for use with a variety of hosting providers. In future releases, we will be continuing to streamline the deployment process and merge both Quick Deploy and the “DesktopServer for WordPress” plugin to provide a simple one-click option for deployment. Please feel free to post in our premium forum if you require additional support to deploy your solution to a live hosting provider.
As the Founder of ServerPress, LLC and the Coding Genius behind DesktopServer, Stephen J. Carnam continues to invent new ways to improve developer Workflow through technology. As a huge Advocate of Open Source Software, he promotes Creativity, Community and Collaboration.

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